Apollo was euthanized when it became apparent that his week long episode of gastric distress was due not to something going wrong in his stomach but in his central nervous system, probably in his brain. Apollo was 15 years and eight months old. He had been outgoing, friendly and acting fine until Thursday, December 23. We began supportive nursing immediately, did blood work, x-rays, urinalysis and checked his stool for parasites. All the tests came back normal. Our vet suspected a brain tumor and when he suddenly had a seizure on December 30 we sedated him for his final trip to the clinic where he was peacefully euthanized.
Apollo, known for his quirky personality, was low ranking when he lived in the main pack. He often acted very “goofy”, which served both to delight human onlookers and to casually redirect aggression away from himself. He liked to “greet with his feet” — especially Karin, the alpha female, who did not want to have anything to do with the pushy black wolf and his pokey toes.
When he had to be removed from the pack, for his own safety, in 1999 he wound up as the alpha male of a trio consisting of himself, his buddy Alyeska, and Karin, both of whom had also had to be retired for their safety. Apollo finally got the girl — he and Karin became exemplary mates, remaining very affectionate with each other for their whole lives. When Karin passed away in November of 2008, Apollo turned more to humans for companionship, becoming a very popular wolf with our interns, volunteers and sponsors. While he had a longer than average life, it is still hard to believe he is gone. He will be much missed by all of us.